Sturgeon Leaps At Florida Teen, Knocks Her Unconscious

by Elizabeth Chuck /  / Updated 
A jumping sturgeon on the Suwanee River.
A jumping sturgeon on the Suwanee River.Florida Fish and Wildlife

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A Florida teenager enjoying a family boat ride was knocked unconscious when a sturgeon leapt out of the water and struck her.

Heavyn Nash, 14, was boating along the Suwanee River south of Manatee Springs with her mother and grandfather when the fish, 4 to 6 feet long, jumped into the boat, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The Fanning Springs teen was taken to the hospital and released.

“Thankfully, she’s going to be OK,” said conservation officer Robert Johnston.

It was the second boater collision with a jumping sturgeon in less than two weeks, Florida officials said. The first was on May 23 on the Santa Fe River, when a sturgeon crashed through a boat windshield, injuring the driver of the boat.

Related: Fisherman Dies After Tussle With Swordfish in Hawaii

No sturgeon strikes were reported last year or in 2013. Because water levels have been dropping, the sturgeon are jumping more often, officials said.

Sturgeons can leap more than 7 feet out of the water. In Florida, they are covered under state and federal conservation laws.

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